Test the Libratone Zipp Mini 2

On the flourishing market speakers AirPlay 2, there is a model that stands out from the crowd, this is the Zipp Mini 2 Libratone. At the opposite end of the HomePod who knows nothing other than the streaming technology from Apple, the pregnant scandinavian also incorporates Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, an input mini-jack and even a USB port. To top it all, it can be used anywhere thanks to its battery.

Generally sold less than $ 250, the Zipp Mini 2 is as good as it sounds ? Response in this test.

One original speaker and portable

The design of the Libratone Zipp Mini 2 is original and entertaining. Sti base is made of plastic while his body is covered with a cloth for sparkling. This cover mesh can be removed using the zipper going around the tube. Why remove it ? To put it another colour (they are sold 29,99 € the unit).

Another original feature is the leather strap that extends beyond the rear and that prompts you to enter the device to carry around with you. The Zipp Mini 2 has a battery. This is a rare feature for a enceintente AirPay 2 : only the Sonos Move and the Bose Portable Home Speaker, which are much more expensive (€399 € 369 €), can also be remote from an outlet.

Libratone promises up to 12 hours of battery life. I measured an average of 10 hours during my testing, AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, with the volume set at around a third, which is largely sufficient for home use.

Given its dimensions (22.4 x 10 cm) and its weight (1.1 kg), it will move rather the Zipp Mini 2 from room to room as house-to-house. It is less made to be brinquebalée in his bag as a Bluetooth speakers like the UE Boom. If we do move ever, you can easily remove her thong for more than sobriety.

The Zipp Mini 2 naked, without stis bag or its strap.

The block area is large, not practical on a power strip.

At the top of the enclosure is a display light with touch controls. Intuitive gestures allow you to control the playback (tap for reading, two taps to the next track, a circle like the wheel of the iPod to adjust the volume…). By pressing and holding on the nightingale (the logo of the brand), there appear new icons dedicated to different functions on which we shall return.

Connectivity flawless

In addition to its battery, the strong point of the Libratone is sti connectivity. Not only it is compatible with all major wireless technologies, but it also accepts USB devices and other sources related with a mini-jack cable.

The USB port is type A and not type C, which is perhaps no more evil, one is more likely to have an (old) USB-A USB key-C. This port will be used more to troubleshoot than to listen to any disco, the selection of a piece specific to be impossible to the speaker and complicated in the mobile application. The hierarchy of the files on the key, is unfortunately not preserved in the app.

Playback USB on the enclosure

Speaking of application, it is irritating. Essential for access to the advanced settings of the product, it requires to create an account Libratone and refreshes each time you open it.

It has a few functions for reading and multiroom, but it is anecdotal and a lot less convenient than what is offered by Sonos in the subject. It can be a group of speakers Libratone so that they play the same thing simultaneously, as well as to assign such and such a speaker on the left channel, or right, but it takes a lot of taps in the app. It is better to exploit AirPlay 2 gold Spotify Connect (in this case, we will avoid pulling of hair.

Two speakers grouped

If you have guests at home and you don’t want to give them the password of your Wi-Fi network, they may still be able to connect to the Zipp Mini 2 thanks to Bluetooth 4.1. No bad surprise, I was able to connect on the first try year Android smartphone. The Bluetooth is the least good of the protocols in terms of sound quality, but it has the advantage of being virtually universal. And since Libratone is really not sectarian, its speaker is even compatible with the standard DLNA.

Bluetooth Streaming from an Android smartphone

In addition to the control of the reading, a handful of functions are available directly on the speaker. The small icons on the top of the device are not all talking. It is necessary to consult the manual to understand that there is one dedicated to SoundSpace Link (group of speakers), one for the calibration sound, and yet another to update the firmware of the product — was it really necessary to integrate this option with the touch interface ?

Year icon that has its place at the top of the enclosure is dedicated to Alexa. By touching it, you can mute the microphone or on the contrary enable the wizard, without having to say ” Alexa “. The recognition of the voice command is not very good : the music road, I had to often me several times to wake up the wizard.

The essential features of the Alexa are supported. Specifically you can control playback and selection of music to the voice (I have tested this point with Spotify).

Sound quality

As the HomePod, the Zipp Mini 2 is omni-directional : its woofer 3″ and tweeter 1″ broadcasts the sound over 360° with a reflector. This is a good point for a speaker is portable could be placed anywhere, such as on a table in the middle of a room or in the garden, especially as the emission is homogeneous.

In terms of sound quality, the Zipp Mini 2 can not compete with the HomePod, the better equipped technically (and more expensive). It is also in withdrawal compared to the Sonos One, which costs the same price, and the shelf Symfonisk, sold two times less expensive. The sound of The Zipp Mini 2 is less ample and less precise. Aim the two speakers Sonos is not portable…

Zipp Mini 2 and Sonos One

Compared to a Bluetooth speakers or even my ” old ” Sony SRS-X7 portable Wi-Fi hotspot, the Zipp Mini 2 takes the hand. In general, it delivers a rather uniform and free of distortion, even pushing the volume to the bottom. On this subject, it easily fills a large living room.

Different eqs in the application allow you to adjust the sound profile according to the type of music, as well as the type of place where the device is placed (shelf, table, floor…). There is also an option calibration to optimize the performance depending on the acoustics of the room (unlike the Trueplay Sonos, the calibration is done in a transparent manner, over broadcast, obviously). By taking advantage of all these options, it is able to significantly improve the sound quality. In the end, the bass are quite “round” and the middle finger, and treble are very present.

To conclude

It’s almost a clean sweep for the Libratone Zipp Mini 2. It is much more than a simple speaker with AirPlay 2 : the original, complete, and portable, it is the forum user-friendly by excellence.

It is only if you’re of the sound quality your top priority as the Zipp Mini 2 is less advisable. For the same price, a Sonos One is significantly better in that regard. But it is impossible to move the Sonos to a power outlet.

The other speakers AirPlay 2 laptop are few and mostly much more expensive. They are so much more than Libratone offers a pack of two Zipp Mini 2 at the very attractive price of 329 €. It is the price of a single HomePod…

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